Friday, 25 January 2013

Reading -The Lacuna, Barbara Kingsolver

Are you fans of  Barbara Kingsolver? Yes of course you are. Everyone who has read her books is a fan.

Not read her?
I was first introduced to Barbara Kinsolver with The Poisonwood Bible "An overzealous Baptist minister named Nathan Price drags his wife and four daughters deep into the heart of the Congo on a mission to save the unenlightened souls of Africa. The five women narrate the novel." The story spans the 1960's through to the 90's in the Congo. It is a deeply disturbing and wonderfully reflected novel. I felt compelled to read more about the Congo and followed up The Poisonwood Bible with Joseph Conrad's even more disturbing Heart Of Darkness and as if that was not enough misery I then read King Leopold's ghost. I think I read Mills and Boons for 3 months solid to recover from the harrowing experience of reading those three brilliant and terrifying books. But I am getting waylaid as usual.

Back to Barbara Kingsolver. The first couple of pages of The Poisonwood Bible are amongst my favourites in the introduction to a book category. A bit like the first line of Pride and Prejudice. You are hooked from the beginning.

 Well for the organic earth mother (or father) types try reading Animal Vegetable Miracle. A wonderful, inspiring, practical and just plain interesting look at living for a year on what the Kingsolver family produced seasonally. I particularly loved the story about her younger daughter and her chickens. Valuable lessons for life. The book has a web site. Log on and see the recipes, read a couple of chapters and get hooked on the principle.
I am currently reading The Lacuna after Cameron brought it back from Cape Town with "You have not read it?" incredulity in his voice. So I am reading it and loving it and don't want to put it down. This is what The Independent had to say about the book in November 2009. The reading Group Guide describes it as a " ..powerfully imagined, provocative novel," that  "takes us on an epic journey from the Mexico of artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo to the America of Pearl Harbor, FDR, and J. Edgar Hoover. The Lacuna is the poignant story of a man pulled between two nations as well as an unforgettable portrait of the artist --- and of art itself."
Barbara Kinsolver has just published her latest offering  Flight Behaviour. which of course I will get to...... in about a year.
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